Vehicle telematics data analysed by a risk solutions firm suggest speed cameras are a danger to road users
Telematics research and development company Wunelli has found that speed cameras are responsible for up to 80% of braking black spots on British roads.
Gatso safety cameras were introduced onto our roads in 1992; they have since become a common safety feature found in most villages, towns and cities throughout the country.
The Gatsometer BV speed camera is probably the most identifiable permanent unit, but other cameras, including the new digital Gatso and the Truvelo units, are also cropping up increasingly on our highways.
Gatso road safety cameras are rear facing and use radar technology to measure the speed of a vehicle as it travels past the camera.
Many motorists will be familiar with that heart-in-the-mouth feeling when a yellow-coloured speed camera suddenly looms out at you from up ahead, forcing you quickly onto the brakes in a desperate attempt to avoid the inevitable fine and licence points.
According to Wunelli, this kind of last minute braking at road safety cameras is creating braking black spots up and down the country. The risk analysis company suggests that four in five braking spots are situated in the same place as a permanent speed camera.
The research includes telematics data collected from 5,353 vehicles travelling on British roads between 2011 and 2014. Harsh braking is classed as a drop in speed of at least 6.5mph within a one second time frame.
Two speed camera locations which have witnessed the biggest increase in hard braking include the M4, Eastbound, near Boston Manor train station, and Rochdale Road, situated in Middleton, Manchester, where the increase has been recorded as 11%.
To coincide with Road Safety Week, Wunelli is calling on local authorities to remove permanent speed cameras from road sides, as the firm claims that ‘excessive’ braking is causing more dangerous situations to arise than those which the cameras are supposed to be preventing.
As an alternative safety measure, Wunelli suggests installing average speed cameras or increasing the use of insurance black boxes. These are installed in vehicles and record the motoring data of a vehicle, including speeds and braking times.
Paul Stacy, a director at Wunelli, commented: “Unlike fixed on-the-spot cameras which we estimate can cause a large number of drivers to slam on their brakes, average-speed cameras encourage much steadier driving.”
However, motorists might not be as enthusiastic about average speed cameras as Wunelli is, as they force drivers to travel by the speed limit for a set distance rather than at just one point. According to official figures, there’s been a 2,500% increase in average speed camera convictions within the last five years.
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